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Day in the Life of an Underwriter

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Ryan Gibbons

As some of you may know, February was Insurance Careers Month. Where insurance professionals, all around the world, are encouraged to share what it's like to work in the insurance industry. So, I figured there is no better time than now to give you an inside look at my daily life as an Underwriter! 

A Little About Me

First things first, my name is Ryan Gibbons, and I have been a part of the Ohio Transportation Underwriting Team at JM Wilson since 2017. In 2013, I graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Economics. After following a few different career paths, I was looking for something new. One of my current coworkers, Seth Mahaffey, told me that there was an open position in the JM Wilson Ohio office. Considering I have always been interested in learning how to underwrite, the insurance world is the perfect spot to get started down the right path, I accepted the position and have loved it ever since! Now let's get into what it's like to be an Underwriter.

My Typical Day

My day usually starts with a cup of coffee, or 2 or 3! Once the caffeine has done its magic, I'll take a look at my emails from the previous night, and address anything that needs immediate attention. I'll revisit emails from the previous day and get started on quoting any new business that has come my way. I specialize in Non-Fleet (1-10 Units) commercial auto risks, as well as public auto risks. 

Working with a Managing General Agency (MGA) puts me in a unique situation. I get to interact with independent insurance agents on a daily basis. Once I receive an application from an agent, I'll review the risk to determine which markets would be a good fit.

When I'm working on an application for an agent, I’ve found that if an agent provides the most information as possible, it significantly speeds up the underwriting process. Some important things to include are a Completed Application, Accurate Driver list with MVRs, Loss Runs, and International Fuel Tax Agreements (ITFTAs). By doing so, we can return an indication or formal quote as quickly as possible with minimal back and forth. 

It is also essential for me to set expectations with an agent from the beginning of the process. Let them know what markets are available, when they can expect a quote, finance options and the importance of making me aware of any changes to the insured’s operation.  As long as the dialogue is always ongoing and we are communicating, we can get to the finish line quickly, efficiently, and get the bind!

Why I Love Underwriting Commercial Transportation

One of my favorite things about working in the insurance industry is that each day is different from the last one! I like that I can help the agents on nearly any type of commercial auto risk they come across. Each risk has its own unique set of challenges and sometimes hurdles to get over in order to quote. Which is why I cherish the relationships I have with my insurance agents. Because the insurance industry is continuously changing and evolving, we can work together as a team in so many different ways. I help keep my agents up to date on any carrier changes and appetites. Agents are willing to share their knowledge and  insights from their point of view as well. Alerting us to changes on their side of the industry, and what we can expect. It just goes to show that while challenging, the insurance industry is also fun and rewarding! 

Thanks for taking some time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed and learned more about what it's like to be a Transportation Underwriter for JM Wilson!

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